We all need to learn how to be spontaneous, and make the appropriate changes when things don’t go as planed. However, with this said, our spontaneity should not become the design of our actions, but the attitude of our actions. What this means is we should not depend on our ability to be spontaneous to govern how we plan, and make our decisions. Going with the flow all the time, is not an excuse for lack of planning.
The same thing applies to those who are able to make, and act on quick decisions. Just because we can make quick decisions, and manipulate our schedules as we go along, it does not mean we should live our lives without a plan, and without routines.
For example, lets say you want to get married, and you are great at making things up as they go along. So you book a church, and then Facebook all your friends’ invitations. Then when your fiancée asks about the wedding you say, “don’t worry, babe, I booked the church and sent out the invitations. Now all we have to do is take things as they come, because you know how quick I am on my feet, I’m sure it will all work out.” For the groom this may sound good, but for the bride she will most likely walk out before you buy the flowers.
In reality, the ability to be spontaneous and make quick decisions, works better keeping us true to our schedules and routines, and not the other way around. The routines and disciplines we set up to help us reach our goals are the key for their fulfillment, even as we allow enough flexibility to be spontaneous, and make adjustments as we go along.
There are many routines that can help us reach our various goals. It could be the times we wake up, or go to bed. It might be how we set up regular times for exercise, time with family, and how we budget our finances.
Ideas to Establish Routines.
As parents, my wife and I set Saturday nights aside to have family nights. Even when our kids were teens, we would still have family nights, even when they complained about not being able to go out with their friends. Years later all of my children have told me those were important times in their lives, and now they are doing the same with theirs.
* Health Routines
Every few years try keeping a journal of the exact hours you sleep each night, everything you eat, and your exercise times during the first three months of the year. Then through out these months, keep track of how you feel after various patterns of sleeping and eating. This may allow you the opportunity to optimize your eating, sleeping and work out habits (I seem to work best on 7.5 hours of sleep).
* Money Routines
To set up money routines it is a good idea to keep a journal, for a few months, on every thing you spend money, and why. Then tally up your spending and categorize each area according to what and where you are spending all your money.
It may come as a shock to see how much one spends on coffee, soda, or water alone. I have saved thousands by buying an espresso machine 10 years ago by making my own cafe lattes at home (and for my friends).
We all have our own routines. One of my most productive routines is my yearly goal setting sheet. Every year I write a list of about 50 to 100 things I want to do during the year, and categorize them by financial, family health etc. I then print, laminate, and keep one sheet in my organizer and one in my office.
This way they are always in front of me, and I check them off as I go along. My lowest percentage of goals reached is 58, my highest is 86. At the end of the year, I roll over the unfinished ones to the next year, and start my list from these unfinished goals.
Establish Routines: Conclusion
If you feel like you are struggling, or even like your routines are hindering you, don’t be discouraged. Remember that routines are there to serve you, not for you to serve the routine. So don’t be afraid to try new things, and change your routine along your way to success.